Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Concern at Orde response to Policing Board position on TASERs

5 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Policing and Justice Spokesperson, South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey has expressed concern at the response of the PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde to the Policing Board position on the deployment of TASERs.

Mr Maskey said:

"The Policing Board position is based on genuine concerns about the use of TASERs. These are not just Sinn Féin concerns but also the concerns of the Equality Commission, the Human Rights Commission, the Children's Commissioner and the board's Human Rights advisors. These concerns are well founded and must be addressed.

"These concerns are well known to the Chief Constable and I am very disappointed that Hugh Orde has decided to ignore the decision of the Policing Board despite assurances given to the board by him, on the public record, to the contrary.

"The seriously thought out views of this board must be recognised and respected by the Chief Constable. This is not a previous board, this is a new board and we are all in an entirely new era. Hugh Orde must work hard to secure public confidence in the policing accountability arrangements.

"The decision of the board was not taken lightly and the Chief Constable should not rush into the deployment of this new weapon, or indeed into a needless row with the board itself.

"Any precipitous deployment of the TASER guns will undoubtedly bring the Chief Constable into judicial review by those who are rightly demanding that they are not deployed unless until they are rigorously tested against high standards of public safety and human rights.

"Hugh Orde had previously agreed to respect this but has now reneged on this commitment and further compounded this by ignoring a decision of the Policing Board itself." ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin